Targeted News Service
DENVER, Aug. 16 — Xcel Energy issued the following news release:
An Xcel Energy program designed to provide solar power opportunities to customers who previously could not access existing programs in Colorado opened today for project submission and all available capacity was reserved in approximately 30 minutes, the company announced.
The Solar*Rewards Community standard offer was designed for Colorado customers who could not, for various reasons, take advantage of other solar programs, because they were renting, lived in multi-family dwellings or did not have homes or businesses suitable for solar installations. Customers are now able to purchase renewable energy through solar project developers from a community-based photovoltaic system.
“The success of this initial offering and the fact that it subscribed so quickly clearly shows that this is a beneficial and desirable program for our Colorado customers,” said David Eves, president & CEO of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “Solar*Rewards Community makes solar energy available to a new, broad group of customers and we are pleased with the interest shown today.”
Xcel Energy was seeking approximately 4.5 megawatts of generation, from systems less than or equal to 500 kilowatts; it received approximately three times that amount in applications in about 30 minutes after the program opened at 8 a.m. MDT today. Acceptance of applications ended after an hour.
Developers, known as subscriber organizations, will install community solar gardens and receive production incentives from Xcel Energy. They, in turn, will market, sell or lease shares of the garden to subscribing customers in their communities under terms and conditions they create.
A second program, the Solar*Rewards Community Request for Proposal (RFP), also opened this morning for program greater than 500 kilowatts to 2 megawatts, and bids will be accepted through Sept. 14, 2012. Solar*Rewards Community recently received final approval from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
Legislation currently limits the amount of megawatts (power) that Xcel Energy can accept. The company has proposed to open with 9 megawatts in 2012, and another 9 megawatts of programs in 2013, the two years representing the maximum amount allowed under current law.
Eves also noted today that Solar*Rewards Community marks a significant step in the process in which renewable programs become more equitable for all of Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers.
“Participants in our Solar*Rewards Community program will pay their fair share of costs associated with the transmission and distribution of their energy, instead of avoiding these costs through net metering,” Eves said.
“As the solar industry grows, we believe it is increasingly important for all the utility costs and incentives for solar to be as transparent as possible.”
The Solar*Rewards Community program was developed through collaboration with the solar industry and the CPUC, and created in response to the State of Colorado’s legislation (House Bill 10-1342), passed in 2010, to provide for community solar gardens. Xcel Energy supported the legislation.
For more information on the Solar*Rewards Community or Solar*Rewards programs, visit www.xcelenergy.com/solar , or email solarrewardscommunity@xcelenergy.com . Customers interested in becoming a part of a solar garden should research options in their community.

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